Recap: Belle & Sebastian at the Fox Theater, Oakland CA
belle & sebastian

“Take a deep breath. Inhale and then exhale all your shit out to me and I’ll catch it.”

The packed house took a deep breath and you could hear a loud exhale as Belle & Sebastian frontman reached his hand out pretended to catch all of the crowd’s Monday evening anxieties and stuff them in his back pocket.  Ok then and began their next song.  Murdoch seemed to sense the anxiety in the air as of late in this country and wanted to ease his fans’ pain. Luckily he and the band were more than equipped to do so. Armed with a catalog of light and sunny songs, Belle & Sebastian seemed to shower the audience with happiness, the mood lifting with each passing song.

With so many albums, EPs and side projects you never know what you’re going to get at one of their shows. The nicest surprise of the evening was a rare airing of their namesake track from their original Jeepster EPs. The Boy With the Arab Strap was another crowd pleaser as was Murdoch and his fabulous keytar. For a band often called “twee” and seen as somewhat lightweight compared to the heavier bands that emerged at the same time, they managed to put on quite a performance.

The visuals were as artsy as one would expect but the light show and the sound was a little more intense and it really elevated the overall show. As the band head on through the states and back to Glasgow, they are surely leaving their audiences in a better state than they found them.

Opener Japanese Breakfast was a treat as well. Lead singer Michelle Zauner overcame some sound issues like a pro and somehow managed to rock out with her heavenly voice. Her band were superb with a bass player who nearly stole the show with his playing and quiet theatrics.

Check out the highlights below:

photo by: David Iskra